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137 Beasley to Evatt

Cablegram 400 [1] [PHILADELPHIA], 6 May 1944, 7.49 p.m.


I.L.O. Report No. 25.

After considerable discussion it was agreed to permit the six countries already on the Governing Body to hold office until the next ordinary conference and to fill the two existing vacancies.

Our failure to gain a place on the Governing Body was due to an arrangement between some European countries, particularly Greece, Poland, Turkey and Czechoslovakia which had agreed to support Greece and South American countries which had agreed to support Peru.

Each group had indicated support for us as second to its own nominee but pressure from the office and British to oust them in favour of us and Egypt led them to make a bargain for mutual support within the last twelve hours.

Further, it appears that part of bartering arrangement had its origin in an agreement by the South American bloc not to press for a general election and thus force these six countries now on the Governing Body to face a ballot.

This suited Poland as her position was insecure. We secured some European votes as well as Middle East votes such as Iraq, Iran and Egypt. We also obtained two or three votes from South American group clue to our active part here which has been appreciated on all sides. Up until yesterday, we felt our prospects were good.

Current opinion earlier than [sic] indicated Greece had little chance but the bartering arrangement was very strong and came at a late stage which gave us very little chance to penetrate. In the circumstances, I think Australia did very well to obtain 26 votes.

Voting was-Peru 33, Australia 26, Cuba [...] [2] Greece 30.

This line up of countries which are here regarded as fascist group against the Commonwealth, America, Scandinavia and other democratic states is something which we shall have to watch at all conferences as they have the numbers.

The Office, the English-speaking group, Scandinavians, Luxembourg are very disappointed and there is considerable ill feeling over tactics which it is thought will react against South America in future.

It is suggested by the Office that we might be substitute delegate say to Canada in which case we would have the right to take part in discussions of the Body without vote. What are your wishes? As this Governing Body is elected only until next ordinary session and not for the usual 3 years period and as it is re-examining at our request the whole basis of selection of the first eight this might prove a valuable arrangement.

1 Sent through the Legation in Washington.

2 The vote received by Cuba was not recorded in the minutes. See International Labour Conference Twenty-sixth session. Philadelphia 1944. Record of proceedings, International Labour Office, Montreal, 1944, twelfth sitting, 8 May 1944, p. 142.

[AA:A989, 44/1320/13/3]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013

Category: International relations

Topic: History